HOLLYWOOD film executives have visited the possible site of a Scottish film studio and are excited about its potential, a leading producer has revealed.


A recent visit by executives from the heart of the film industry in Los Angeles recently visited the studios of Outlander, the TV series currently being made in Scotland, in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire.

They also took the chance to look at the potential of the nearby site of the former OKI printer plant site, which is said to be the location being assessed for a film studio by Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.

Iain Smith, the Scottish producer of films such as Seven Years in Tibet, Children of Men, Wanted, Cold Mountain, the TV series 24 and the new Mad Max movie, Fury Road - which premieres in Los Angeles next week - said the power-brokers had been impressed by what they saw.

The 200,000 square feet building is a few hundred metres from the studio where Outlander is being made.

The 13.8 acre site at the Wardpark Industrial Estate is also close to the M80.

Mr Smith, originally from Glasgow, and currently chairman of the British Film Commission (BFC), believes a film studio will be built and Scotland could benefit from having two, as well as the Outlander facility.

Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government have not yet confirmed the Cumbernauld site or whether a publicly-backed plan is possible.

However, yesterday, Mr Smith said: "I think a studio will be built, I think we will.

"There is room for two studios, as well as what is happening with Outlander in Cumbernauld.

"We have the talent here, but we need the infrastructure and the economic mechanisms to support that.

"Talent development is an important part of having a studio, in a way the studio will be a Trojan horse to invest in all these things.

"The location of Cumbernauld is good. The producers from LA were very impressed."

Mr Smith yesterday visited the University of the West of Scotland's (UWS) campus in Ayr, talking to students about his role as a producer of big-budget movies as well as his role in several key film institutions and bodies.

UWS is planning on launching a new Master's Degree in filmmaking in September.

It will be the first course of its kind to be offered in the west of Scotland - UWS will deliver the MA at its new screening and seminar space in Film City Glasgow, in Govan, as well as at its £81 million Ayr campus.

Mr Smith said that the most important thing for a Scottish student studying film and wanting to succeed in the film business was "talent."

But he also said in his career he had carefully plotted every move in a business which does not often offer people second chances if they are deemed to fail.

"You need talent and originality - but I would say Hollywood is more accessible than it has ever been," he said.

"It had always been seen as this fortress, but I would say you can always get a first meeting there, it is the second that is much harder.

"The first is the easiest because Hollywood is always looking for the new thing."

Mad Max: Fury Road is directed by George Miller and stars Tom Hardy as Max, as well as Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz.